In meetings that I’ve held with great leaders across a number of different industries, something has become very clear to me. Investing in the wellbeing of their employees is a priority for them. They understand that performance and results can be significantly optimised if their employees are physically, mentally and emotionally fit.
During my conversations with them however, I sensed a certain level of frustration. They revealed to me that they had invested in a number of different workplace wellbeing initiatives (e.g., yoga classes, weekend retreats, healthy snacks, discounted gym memberships, meditation sessions, health fairs, etc.) but employee participation was not what they had hope for.
Let’s be realistic here, don’t expect your employees to change their lifestyle just because you give them a physical activity tracker and discount vouchers for a health food store. If you really want to influence your team to adopt healthier lifestyles and work styles, then you need a solid, sound and formal wellbeing strategy in place.
Most of the wellbeing interventions that I see being implemented nowadays in organisations are disjointed. Isolated efforts to “at least do something” in the workplace wellbeing area. For the most part, these programmes lack the strategic structure that will maximise uptake and deliver tangible results. And some of the companies that do have a baseline strategy to enhance employee wellbeing, fail to give this strategy the importance they give to other major strategic initiatives in the company.
1.- Strategy is King – Develop an employee wellbeing strategic framework to maximise the return on investment. Start by understanding the strategic imperative that is driving the need for an employee wellbeing strategy in your company, conduct internal assessments, identify the leadership team that will be responsible for the programme, define your priorities, design the interventions, structure the offerings, communicate them wisely and monitor the results.
2.- Get Expert Help – Although the Human Resources department is an appropriate place to host a workplace wellbeing programme, most HR professionals are increasingly overloaded with other HR responsibilities and lack the in-depth expertise when it comes to designing, implementing and managing a comprehensive workplace wellbeing programme.
3.- Get Started Now – If you are leading a team of people and are still waiting for a company-wide workplace wellbeing strategy to be implemented, your patience will be tested. Start your own workplace wellbeing programme within your team and get some results now. Most likely you will be setting an example for the rest of the organisation and your interventions might be adopted as best practices